Blantyre City Council (BCC) top officials have misappropriated donor funds amounting to K17 million meant for Chilobwe Vocational Training Centre, Nyasa Times has established.
Meanwhile, BCC is contemplating of shutting down the vocational training which has currently been turned into a primary school without the knowledge of its funders.
Chilobwe Vocational Centre has not taken any intake since 2008 after the first pool of students who did not even successfully concluded their training program following the Council’s failure to pay for their examination fees.
According to Nyasa Times’ verified information, the Council’s top officials including the Chief Executive Ted Nandolo have misused the K17 million provided by the vocational centre’s main funders, from Hannover in German.
When contacted recently, Nandolo feign ignorance of the issue and the Council’s Human Resource Director, Alfred Nyengo who is in charge of the vocational training centre’s operations pushed the issue to the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Luzana Khanga who is reportedly in United States of America on holiday.
But one of the top officials confirmed on Tuesday that the money was indeed used on unplanned events such as workshops that were just organized as means of syphoning the funding.
“The funds were spent on allowances for workshops we have been having in Mangochi and at Game Haven in Bvumbwe. Seriously, the workshops were just a way of spending the money as it is the trend with any money that comes into our accounts,” disclosed the officer.
The officer further revealed that the Council is failing to count for the items which came along with the funding which included training tools for the vocational centre’s students who were forced to go on industrial attachments since 2009.
“According to initial plan, the vocational centre was supposed to have boarding hostels, three classrooms and fully fledged workshops but every funding towards that has been spend on unknown activities to the point we have been failing to pay examination fees for the first intake,” added the officer.
BCC top management, according to the officer, has been blindfolding the donors by giving out false information, painting a rosy picture of the training centre that has stopped operating for almost four years now.
Recently, three computers that had vital information were stolen at BBC Treasury Department in a questionable circumstance, which was prompted following the visit of Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) officials to investigate reports of funds misuse at the Council.
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